Another Kingston Adventure

15 07 2009

Friday, June 26th, 2009 ~

I packed the DGTU #2 with two sets of doubles and a scooter, and made the journey to Kingston. Steve was already there, interning on a Fundies course, and I was going to meet Andy for some diving goodness.

I arrived at the shop early, and attempted to use my little old laptop. Booting it up was painfully slow, and I wasn’t having much success. I finally got frustrated, and James and I took off to the store, to purchase a netbook. I’ve been wanting one of those little guys for a while, and it was the insubordination of my laptop that finally pushed me over the edge.

In our quest for the netbook, James found a purchase for himself, which proved quite humourous, when we returned to the shop. Apparently, the super soaker is 20 years old now, and they’ve come out with an Anniversary Edition…

James caught a rabbit…

…and a Mike…

Since I received news that my dive buddy was running a bit late, I headed over to the quarry, with the class, for a few class pictures.

Steve, and our DGTU #1…


Steve, getting his students ready…

I like this one of Guy…

When the class had finished their day, and Andy made it to town, we all went out for some grub, and called it a night.

Saturday, June 27th, 2009 ~

Saturday, we all met at the shop, and tried to get on a boat. The boats were fully booked, so we were contemplating which shore dive to do.

While the boats were loading, I also ran into David and Cynthia, from California, that I had chatted with earlier in the year.

Here’s David, with his left chest clip…

David and Cynthia…

Andy, Jenn E., and I decided to head over to Amherst Island. We packed up DGTU #2, and headed for the ferry.

We arrived at the public dock, and came upon some really nice people fishing, with a ton of questions about diving.

Andy and the entry point…


I had never been to this site before, and would really be putting my compass skills to the test. We were given a brief description of what we might find, and that there was a rock wall to follow.

We entered the water, did a briefing, and headed off to explore. The visibility wasn’t that great above 20′, but the water was pretty warm. We were swimming amongst the weeds for a bit, then decided to go down the sloping silt for a bit, to see if we could find the wall. When I say silt… holy smokes… That bottom layer had such loose silt on it, that you could probably put your arm right down through it, and still not feel the bottom. There was a definite thermocline at 21′, and you could actually see the haze of the warmer water above it. The visibility was much better at 21′.

We saw alot of dirt, weeds, the odd little fish, some pipe, and some rather large Sheepshead Carp. There were quite a few of them, although very elusive. We did find a few old pots and pans, as well as a couple of bowls, urns, and bottles. Other than that, not much else. We never did find that limestone wall. After deciding that we had seen enough dirt for one day, we turned the dive, and headed back in. I took a bearing on my compass, and we had a nice swim back.

When we surfaced, I was very pleasantly surprised to see that we were right at the dock, where we started. Wow… those compass things really DO work!

Bottom Time ~ 67 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 36′
Water Temp. ~ 68 above thermocline; 60 below
Visibility ~ 10′ – 40′

Andy and I…

Jenn, playing with my P Valve…lol…

We packed up, and headed back over to the ferry, where we took a ride back over to the main land.

It seems my iPod was following along the same path as my laptop, and would not work. Sorry… no Lady Gaga on the way back to the shop.

We felt like getting back into the water, so we headed over to the Brule Road Quarry, and Andy and I dipped in for some skills.

Bottom Time ~ 38 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 26′
Water Temp. ~ 66
Visibility ~ 5′ – 20′

A big group of us ended up going to Montana’s for some food, then to sleep!

Sunday, June 28th, 2009 ~

There was a charter available for us, so myself, Andy, Kevin, Dave H., Cynthia, Sean, and Claudia joined Anne on Sorobon for some diving goodness!

The lake was pretty flat, so I was good to go.

We went out to the Marsh for our first dive. The Marsh is a three masted schooner, sitting upright, in about 80′ of water. The bow sprit is completely intact, and still has ropes and chains hanging from it. This is one of my favourite Kingston wrecks.

We descended down to the wreck, and made a couple of passes up and down, looking at the dead eyes, then heading to the bow, to get a good view of the front of the wreck. I always seem to do that on this wreck. It’s hard not to, when it is so stunning to look at.

Bottom Time ~ 35 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 79′
Water Temp. ~ 49
Visibility ~ 20′

Seeing as the lake was still flat when we surfaced, my stomach allowed me to do a second dive, which was on the Maple Glen.

I had never done this wreck before, and was pleasantly surprised by how much there was to see on it. We descended to the wreck, and came up to a set of very large boilers. There was wreckage spread out over quite a distance, and really kept my interest. We then came up to a very large prop, which was also pretty amazing to see.

Bottom Time ~ 38 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 69′
Water Temp. ~ 47
Visibility ~ 20′

What an awesome day on the lake, and I did not feed the fish!

We returned back to the shop, where we unloaded the boats, and missed the torrential downpour of rain.

It was another most excellent weekend of diving goodness, and hanging out with friends!

Guy, Dan, and Steve ~ The Dream Team!

Andy, looking sharp in his new “DIR Ontario” jacket!

Mooring Day ~ Part Two

13 05 2009

Sunday, May 10th, 2009 ~ 


It was Mother’s Day, and I made sure that I called my mum on the way over to the shop. Steve had left a few minutes earlier than I did, as he was starting his ITC this morning, and wanted to get Timmy’s first. Jen wasn’t far behind me… literally… I think we just missed each other, passing in the hallway. We weren’t sure if the boats were going to go out, as the weather wasn’t looking too promising, and the internet told us that there would be possible storms later on, and high winds. 


My first thought was that I should probably stay off the boats today, as my tummy really doesn’t like the waves out on the lake. Of course, I thought about it for a while, hemmed and hawed, and without alot of persuasion from Anne and Oren, I loaded up the boat, geared up, and off we went. 

The winds are coming from the North! That’s a good thing! The waves won’t be bad!

We were going to attempt to raise the moorings on the Cornwall, the Glendora, and possibly a third, depending on the weather. Myself, Jen, James Y., Sean, and Nancy boarded  Sorobon once again. Oren and John were aboard Seadeucer. 

James Y. aka Vinnie…


Jen and Sean…




Anne even braided my hair for me…


All was well on the ride out, and Anne brought us to the numbers for the Cornwall. Anne said, “Now!” to throw out the shot line, and Sean tossed it in. My tummy was beginning to turn a bit, so I geared up and got in. The waves were really moving now, so the quicker I got in, the better. Once I was in, I was a happy camper. I made my way over to the shot line, where Jen met me shortly after. Instead of descending right away, we waited for Sean to come over, so that they wouldn’t lose sight of the shot line, with the waves rockin’ like they were. Once he was there, we set off.

There was “word on the lake” that this line was a bit entangled, so Jen and I figured we’d check it out before the boys came down to throw it up. Once we got down, once again, we were right at the wreck. Way to go Anne and Sean!!!

(That was for you CMaul)!

We saw the mooring line on the opposite side of the wreck, and made our way over to it. We followed it along, checked it as we went along, and once at the bottom chain, saw that it didn’t look to be in bad shape at all. The boys would be fine.

Since neither of us had done this wreck before, Jen and I decided to take a little tour down the middle of it. We came upon one of the paddle wheels, that was still intact, but fallen over, as well as the intact boilers. We decided to go check on James and Sean, and headed back toward the line. We met them half way, where they gave us the “ok” and carried on with their dive.

As Jen and I made our way to the line, we saw the line that the guys had successfully sent up, and although it was a bit jerky with the water movement, all looked fine and dandy. We continued around to where the shot line was, and it was clear that Jen and I both had the same thought. We noticed how close it had moved toward the wreck, and thought we should move it a bit, so that it didn’t get entangled in the wreck, as it was pulled up. We made our way to it, and Jen moved it over a bit.

Ok… let’s go home…

We went back over to where the line was…

Um.. yeah… it WAS here about 2 minutes ago…

The first thought through my head was that the boat was moored to it, and they were drifting…away. Jen and I looked at each other, and knew that we both weren’t seeing things. It really wasn’t there! Lol…

James and Sean were now on the scene as well, so the four of us headed back over to the shot line, where we ascended, and blew a bag.

When we surfaced… yup… no boat… lol… It didn’t take them long to get back to us though. Anne was going to bring in the shot line, and realized that it wasn’t there. She then realized that the numbers were off, so she immediately headed over to us, where we had a bit of a chuckle, and got back on board. It was a bit “rock and roll” with the waves, but we all got up safely. At least they were able to pull up the entire line, so it can be fixed and replaced.

“I swear there was a line there!”

I guess we can’t chalk that one up to David Copperfield. I don’t think he was in town on Sunday.

Bottom Time ~ 32 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 74′
Water Temp. ~ 42
Vis. ~ 40′

Once we had a debrief and a good chuckle, we headed over to the Glendora.

My tummy had not been too bad until this point, but with the bumping and grinding, I think I went instantly green. Jen said that I was a mix between grey and green. I really wanted to get back in the water, but couldn’t even bring myself to gear up. Argh… stoopid seasick.. pft… At least I didn’t give in to it… this time.

Jen was going to go in with Nancy, but they were not in the water long.

Once the boys came back on board, we headed back to the dock, with me in the fetal position, the entire trip back.


I did take a picture of James’ iPhone, where he had marked where we were…


I was able to sit up a few minutes before reaching NTD, and Jen noticed that the colour had returned to my face. They were all placing bets on how quickly I would kiss firm ground. 😉

Once back, we unloaded our gear, met the rest of the gang, then went to grab some grub. My tummy was still a bit funny, so I took most of my dinner to go!

Despite my churning tummy, the twisting waves, and the rocky weather, it was amazing to get back to Kingtson, for the diving, as well as hanging out with good friends. I can’t wait to get back out next weekend!

Mooring Day ~ Part One

13 05 2009

Saturday, May 9th, 2009 ~ 


Steve and I packed up both of our vehicles, and headed for the mighty Ktown, to help out with Mooring Day! We arrived on Friday night, met some of the gang for dinner, then headed to our hotel. Jen was in the room beside us. 


Saturday morning, we headed to Northern Tech Diver, and it seemed that Steve and I took the long way… so we got there after Jen did. We loaded up the boat, then headed out to the City Of Sheboygan, to raise the mooring. It was pretty grey outside, and the weather was supposed to get a bit nasty in the afternoon, so we were on a mission! Myself, Steve, Jen B., James P., James F., Oren, and Kevin L. were all aboard, with Captain Annie at the helm.



The City of Sheboygan is pretty far out, so we had to get to this one early, before the weather turned. There were rumours of some bad weather coming in the afternoon.  

Kevin L. and James F. letting us loose…


James Y. and Sean came out in the little boat…


Once we arrived at the City Of Sheboygan numbers, Captain Annie lined up, and Jen threw in the shot line. Since I tend to get a little seasick, I got in the water as soon as I could. We gathered around the shot line, descending a bit, and did our bubble checks before going into the blue yonder. When we got down… BINGO!! We were right alongside the wreck. Nice one, Anne!! Steve and Oren sent up the line, and we had an amazing tour around the wreck. What amazing visibility too! This one has always been one of my favourites, and due to my upset tummy, the lake needs to be pretty flat for me to get to it. The lake can turn pretty quickly too.

I did notice that the mooring block had created a bigger crater in its resting spot, since I saw it last year. The hole seems to be getting quite a bit wider.

We ascended, and hopped back on the boat. We were all smiles, except for Jen, who had had a bit of a glove leak… doh…


Although,  she still had a wicked dive, with her new 130s and 21w light.

Bottom Time ~ 35 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 96′
Water Temp. ~ 43
Visibility ~ 60′

Steve and Kevin L., hooking and bringing in the shot line…


The weather started to turn a bit. It started to really rain, as opposed to the light sprinkling we started out with. Hmm… do we carry on or head in? Doh… that was lightening… Holy crap… that one was close. Yep, we’re heading in. It would still take us about 30 minutes to get back. At one point, we all huddled in the Captain’s quarters, although I’m not sure how safe we were in a metal boat, with tanks for lightening rods. Perhaps it would hit the ladder first?


The weather let up a bit, and we had a visitor on our tail…


Captain Harold and Seadeucer with their new radar…


Harold stopped for a hello, then headed off again. The rain was on and off, as was the thunder and lightening.

We passed by one of the islands, and although the picture doesn’t show how cool it looked, here it is anyway…


Jen and I…


When we arrived back at the dock, we unloaded and went for some grub.

After lunch, Anne and Harold wanted to go for a splash too. The sun had come out a bit, so Steve, Jen, and I said we’d guard the boat. What better way to get over seasickness, than to just do it…. uh… right…

Anne took Sorobon over to the Munson, as it is pretty close, and sheltered by the bay.


James P. and Oren were also along for a splash. It would have been great to jump in, but I didn’t mind being boat guard. On the way out, there were a couple of Sea Doos playing in our wake…


James and Harold gearing up. I think they were doing a dance…


Anne, about to roll back…


While they were gone, we found ways to amuse ourselves…





Jen, on the look out!


Here they come!







Oren and Jen…


On the way back in, I did feel a bit crappy, but I was able to keep my tummy in check.

Rainbow shot…


When we got back in, the dock was a-rockin’, so Harold tied the dock and the boats down…


Monster from the deep!


Although we only got one wreck moored, we still had a ton of fun, and the other boat did get the Douglas and the Frontenac moored.

James Y. back at home base, playin’ a tune…


We gathered up and headed to the Rose and Crown, where we discussed the day’s adventures and planned for tomorrow’s.

Stay tuned for Part Two!

The Day After…

30 08 2008

Saturday, August 30th, 2008 ~

After my Tech 1 class, all I wanted to do was sleep… but… we went diving instead. What better to do?

Myself, Steve, Joe, and Jen boarded a charter out of NTD, where we met Christine and Mark as well. They were up for some diving goodness from the North East Underwater Explorers, and were a blast to spend the day with.

The lake was flat as a pancake, which enabled us to head out to the Katie Eccles. w00 h00! I normally get pretty seasick, so I was quite happy that the waves had subsided for the day!

The Katie Eccles is a two masted schooner, sitting in about 105′ of water. An absolutely amazing wreck. Anyone wanting to do a wreck in Ktown, I recommend this one. The bowsprit is still intact, with chains hanging from it. Such a cool wreck to dive. There are even preserves sitting on the deck, just off of the mooring line.

Picture taken by Tom Rutledge…

kattie eccles by Tom_Rutledge.

Bottom Time ~ 36 mins.

Max. Depth ~ 104′

Water Temp. ~ 54 below thermocline, 68 above

Vis. ~ 50′

A couple of people requested a shallower dive for the second dive, to which none of us minded. We were happy enough to be in the water. We headed over to the Aloha and Effie Mae. Two wrecks in one, sitting in about 54 feet of water.

The Aloha was a wooden ship, carrying coal. There are pieces of wood just about everywhere, and a bunch of fun little swim throughs. A great playground! The Effie May was actually a dive boat that was scuttled here for something extra to see.

Effie May ~ Taken by Tom Rutledge…

Bottom Time ~ 42 mins.

Max. Depth ~ 54′

Water Temp. ~ 68

Vis. ~ 40′

When we came back in, we awaited a group coming back from the Jodrey, and cooked up a storm on the BBQ. Thanks to Matt for being such a great cook!

Hopefully I’ll have a lens for my new camera soon, and I’ll be able to post my own pics again!

A wonderful day on Lake Harold!

Tech 1 Report!

29 08 2008

Monday, August 25th – Friday, August 29th, 2008 ~

Jacob, Dmitri, and I convened at Northern Tech Diver, in Kingston, to start our Tech 1 course. Dan MacKay was our instructor.

Day 1 ~

We met in the classroom for our introductions, dive planning, risk assessment, line formations, and many other subjects.

We also did dives 1 and 2 at the Brule Road Quarry. Dive 1 was the final Fundies dive, which I led.

~ Descend ~ 1 min. stop @ 10′, then down to 20′
~ Valve Drills, S Drills, Backfin, Heli turns
~ Demonstrate finning techniques, then an emergency/failure
~ Timed ascent to the surface, with third blowing a bag

This dive went really well… but… I’ve been doing valve drills over the last year, not only in our skills dives, but also every night before I go to sleep, I do one in my head… (yes, you can call me a geek)…I swear, it must have been the Dan Effect… This was the first time I had forgotten to switch back to my primary reg, after turning it back on. Yes.. I did it… I shut down my left post while still breathing it… I thumped myself in the head, turned it back on, switched to my primary, and carried on.

Can you say… duhhhhhh? Although I would have loved to have blamed it on doing the “old” valve drill, I came clean and admitted that I had never learned the “old” one. 

I guess I’ll have to follow what Leigh says… “I shall be ridiculed in the locker room for years to come.”

Bottom Time ~ 45 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 24′
Water Temp. ~ 75
Vis. ~ 20′

We surfaced and discussed, then went down for Dive 2. This dive was much shorter, but we went through a couple more emergencies and finning techniques, then another timed ascent.

Bottom Time ~ 17 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 24′
Water Temp. ~ 75
Vis. ~ 20′

We returned back to the classroom, where we duscussed the dives and covered more of the classroom work.

Day 2 ~

We met at the shop again, where we went through Gas Management, Blending, Standard Mixes, Gas Profiles, Physics, Valve Failures, and Line Work.

We went outside, ran some line, and did a land based “no vis” line drill. We practiced some of the valve failures that we would do in water today.

We ventured out to the Marine Museum for dives 3 & 4.

Dmitri laid the line, I tightened it, and Jacob tightened it some more… (we were advised to make sure it was extra tight). D tied the line off to a permanent line, and we swam around a bit. Lo and behold, there were valve failures galore! If I remember correctly, there were about 4 or 5 failures each, and eventually we had some that were not fixable.. sheesh.. we’d better get ourselves some more reliable gear!

The next section was a no vis. line drill. This was an absolute blast… We handed over our masks, one at a time, and had to get back to our starting point. I’m not sure if my buddies heard me giggling throughout this drill, but we freight trained it back down the line! Apparently we made it back down the line in one third of the time it took to run it. Lol… we got our masks back, and headed back out for more failures. This one would be a dive ender, so we headed back in!

Total Bottom Time ~ 107 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 36′
Water Temp. ~ 73
Vis. ~ 20′

We once again went back to the classroom for more scuba school and dive discussion.

Day 3 ~

Today we discussed Decompression and planned today’s dives. We went out to the Munson for three different dives. Each of us would lead one. We were diving 30/30, with 50% deco gas.

First Dive ~ Jacob was the leader. We descended on to the wreck, Jacob ran some line, and oh my goodness, we had a valve failure! We turned the dive, doing timed stops to the surface. We carried our deco bottles, but did not use them

Second Dive ~ I led this one. We descended on to the wreck, I picked up the line and made a couple of placements… Holy smokes… a valve failure! We turned the dive, making our stop and gas switch at 70′, then timed stops to the surface.

Third Dive ~ Dmitri was the leader. We descended on to the wreck, D picked up the line, made a couple of placements, and lo and behold, I had a valve failure! We turned the dive, just as Jacob had an OOA! It’s amazing how all of these failures just happened at the same time! HeHe… Dmitri donated to him, and we started up the line. We did our gas switches, and did a timed ascent to the surface.

I really enjoyed these dives, and they went very well.  Our team worked well together.

Total Bottom Time ~ 82 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 101′
Water Temp. ~ 54/68 above thermocline
Vis. ~ 40′

We went back to the shop, discussed, and planned for tomorrow’s dive.

Day 4 ~

Today we headed to Rockport for Experience Dive 1. The plan was 150′ for 20 minutes, using 21/35, along the Rockport Wall. Jacob was leading. We descended, and made it to our target depth in 3 minutes. We swam against the current for 3 mins., then drifted along the wall. The current was slower in some spots than others, so we had to swim a bit of the way. We came up to our max. bottom time, so we started our ascent, with stops along the way. We did our gas switches at 70′, and started our deco obligations. When we reached the surface, we had big grins on our faces… What an awesome dive!

Run Time ~ 65 mins.
Max. Depth ~ 160′
Water Temp. ~ 72

We headed back to the shop, where we did our exam.

Day 5 ~

Experience Dive 2. Planned depth was 165, using 18/45. We followed the same route as the day before, swimming into the current for 3 minutes, then drift along the wall. The current was moving a little more than the day before, but wasn’t significant. When we reached the end of the wall, there was more of a back eddy as well. We reached our “turn point,” and started the ascent, with rolling stops along the way, gas switch at 70′, and our planned deco to the surface. We surfaced, discussed, and were pretty happy with the dive. I also saw some fish that I hadn’t seen before.

Upon returning to the shop, we went through the exam, and all three of us were congratulated with a pass.

I have to say that I thought this was an amazing course, and would like to thank Dan, my buddies, Jacob and Dmitri, for a fantastic week of diving and learning.

Thanks also to Steve and Leigh for putting up with me, while working on skillz, getting ready this year.

Dmitri, Myself, Jacob…